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Ethics Committee: Malta Clerk misused office

Ethics Report: Malta Clerk Flo Sickels (above) misused office

The town Ethics Committee has recommended Malta Town Clerk Flo Sickels be censured for conducting political activities in her town office, and on town time.

The committee, after receiving a complaint and conducting interviews, found unanimously that Sickels on at least one occasion had minutes of a town Republican Committee meeting typed by a town employee on town time, and that she solicited help for her re-election campaign from other town employees on town property.

A copy of the ethics committee's report is available below.

"We think this is a serious offense. Senior elected officials should know better than to do things like this," said David Stiles, a member of the seven-person Ethics Committee.

The Town Board received the committee's report on Monday, but members offered no immediate reaction, pending a closed-door meeting on it next Wednesday with Town Attorney Thomas Peterson. The board has up to 45 days to accept or reject the investigation's conclusions.

Sickels, who has been town clerk since 1991, is running for a twelfth two-year term in next Tuesday's general election. She has the Republican, Conservative and Independence ballot lines, but is opposed by Democrat Amanda Sovern.

Sickels is secretary of the town Republican Committee, and a long-time member of the committee. Her daughter, Tara Thomas, is one of the members of the Town Board.
The Ethics Committee started investigating after receiving a written complaint about Sickel's conduct from Lynda Bablin, the town tax collector and a fellow member of the Republican Committee.

Sickel's did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A full version of this story will appear in the Wednesday issue of the Gazette

Follow @GazettePolitics on Twitter.

Ethics Investigation into Malta Town Clerk

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